Norman Powell has earned a spot in the Toronto Raptors’ rotation and is making his bones on basketball’s biggest stage.
The 6-foot, 4-inch guard from Lincoln High scored a career-high 25 points in 34 minutes and shot 8 for 11 from the field to lead the Raptors to a 118-93 win over Milwaukee and put Toronto into a 3-2 playoff series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks last night.
After a superstar career at Lincoln, it took Powell until his senior season before he averaged 16.4 points a game, starred on defense, and blossomed into an all-conference player at UCLA.
Powell’s professional career so far has been similar to his development at UCLA. Drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 46th pick in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft, Powell soon was traded to Toronto.
He got into 46 games as a rookie but appeared in 76 games in 2016-17, started 18, and averaged 8.4 points and 18 minutes.
Charles Sanford finished the perfect race.
Etched in my memory: Edwards Stadium, Berkeley, 1963 state track meet, final event, 880-yard relay. San Diego High against the field at the end of the two-day program.
Sanford and teammates Walter (Buddah) Blackledge, Gordon Baker, and Raymond Dixon, were considered one of the better entries coming into the meet with a best time of 1:27.2, but there were other, more favored teams from the Los Angeles City and Southern sections.
Sanford, who passed away at age 72 recently, was an attacking sprinter, grinding out his races with each stride, and the best at San Diego High since the days of Roscoe Cook and Bobby Staten a decade before.
Sanford had set a San Diego Section record of :09.6 in the 100-yard dash the week before and had a best of :19.2 in the 180-yard low hurdles.
He qualified in neither event in the Friday trials but was fresh and ready for the baton chase the next day.
The Cavers got off to a good start when Blackledge came out of the blocks with a :22-flat first 220, handing off to Gordon Baker, who put some distance between himself and the pack with a :21.3 second leg.
Baker a sometimes erratic sprinter-quartermiler, ran the most important leg, because he was able to make the second pass from the pole position to Dixon.
With the posse in hot pursuit, Dixon held the inside lane, running his furlong in :21.7, and maintaining Baker’s lead as Dixon passed to Sanford.
Anchor man Sanford closed with a :21.3 leg, increasing San Diego’s winning advantage to about five yards.
The Cavers had covered the distance in 1:26.3, second fastest in the country that year; almost one second faster than they had run the week before, and bettered the record they had shared with the 1957 Cook-Staten-Charles Davis-Willie Jordan team.
Los Angeles Manual Arts was second in 1:26.8.
What I remember most were the flawless handoffs as the Cavers protected the baton amid the pressure of flying spikes, and streaking bodies in a high-powered race.
Sanford, who also was a football standout at San Diego, will be honored in a funeral service Monday, April 3, at 11 a.m. at Missionary Baptist Church in Logan Heights.
John Singer has seen the greatest Helix teams from the bench.
He was an underclassman reserve on the 1969-70 squad led by Bill Walton that posted a 33-0 record and is regarded as not only the best team to come out of the La Mesa foothills but the all-time No. 1 in San Diego County.
Singer’s also the coach, and the winner of 679 games in 36 seasons at Helix, of this season’s team, which will play Vallejo St. Patrick-St. Vincent Saturday at 1 p.m. in the CIF state Division IV championship game at Sacramento’s Golden Center.
Helix is 31-5, and winner of 22 in a row. It got to this point by prevailing in four successive games at home during the Southern California regional after earning a No. 2 seed following a championship run through the San Diego Section playoffs.
Walton competed before San Diego Section teams were part of Southern California regional or state playoffs.
But that Helix team averaged 88 points a game, exceeded 100 points six times, and scored a 71-49 victory over Long Beach Millikan, the 1969-70 Southern Section champion, in a December tournament in Covina.
Singer’s club outscored opponents by an average of 60-55 in a 9-5 December, but has not lost since Dec. 30 and are winning by an average score of 71-53 during that time.
The Scots were almost as effective against competition from outside San Diego, building an average advantage of 70-57 in the four regional games.
Vallejo St. Francis-St. Patrick of the North Coast Section is 27-7, won the Northern California regional, and outscored 4 opponents by an average of 82-43.
Helix and St. Patrick each is a bubble team in Cal-Hi Sports’ latest top state top 20, but the Bruins are ranked 37th in California by Max Preps and Helix is 69th.
Galvanized Americans had Victory on their minds as the war moved into its second year.
San Diego school officials, living in the hub of the defense industry, pitched in. They created the Victory League and put the Metropolitan League in a basketball drydock.
Call theirs a New Year’s Resolution.
Coronado coach Hal Niedermeyer had announced a Metro schedule of one round of nine games on December 10.
But on Jan. 12, when play got under way, the circuit had a new name, a positive acknowledgement of Uncle Sam’s rallying cry for Victory in Europe and Japan.
The Metro, born in 1933 and inclusive of the city’s and suburbs’ smaller schools, would not return until after the 1945-46 academic year.
Low fuel tanks and balding tires were by-products of the need for precious wartime materials.
Necessary gas rationing and travel restrictions were such that the league did not include all members who competed in the similar Metropolitan loop during football season.
Victory travel would be by streetcar or bus.
Suburban Sweetwater and rural Escondido and Oceanside were forced to bail.
Night games were at the option of host schools.
As they did in football for the 1942 season, local titans San Diego High and Hoover split their squads. Four teams included the San Diego Blues and Whites and the Hoover Reds and Whites.
WE GOT GAME
The Helix boys and Serra girls are still in the hunt.
Both teams have reached the finals of the Southern California Regional playoffs, last step before the state championships March 24-25 at the Golden Center in Sacramento.
Helix (30-5), the No. 2 seed in Division IV, defeated Carson of the L.A. City Section, 56-53, for its 21st consecutive victory, 15th in a row at home, and now will play its fourth straight game as host, Saturday night at 6.
The Highlanders will take on Reedley Immanuel (23-8), with the winner meeting the Northern California champion, either Salinas Palma or Vallejo St. Patrick-St. Vincent, which also play Saturday evening.
D-III six seed Serra (23-10) qualified to meet 1 seed Anaheim Rosary (28-5) after a 57-51 win over No. 2 Camarillo.
St. Augustine strived mightily against the taller and favored hosts from Santa Ana Mater Dei, but the Saints were only 6 for 22 in three-point attempts and committed 22 turnovers in a 63-57 loss.
Taeshon Cherry scored 25 points and had 11 rebounds for the San Diego club and was the best player on the floor.
The Saints should be back knocking on the door again in 2017-18.
Fourteen D-III seed Orange Glen’s unexpected ride came to an end when the Patriots were outscored, 17-7, in overtime and dropped a 72-62 decision at No. 2-ranked Villa Park.
Mission Hills was a 66-57 loser at Long Beach Poly and The Bishop’s, after a 315-mile ride, over the Grapevine and up Highway 99, were run off the floor by Clovis West, 73-31, in Girls’ Open Division contests.
Rancho Bernardo was a 57-49 loser to Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos in D-IV, and Olympian was ousted, 70-53, by Riverside Notre Dame in D-V.
FINAL STATE SELECTIONS
With Cal-Hi Sports’ last rankings to be made after the state finals. San Diego’s representation could change.
St. Augustine had moved from seventh to fourth before the Mater Dei game and Torrey Pines was 15th in boys’ play.
Mission Hills was fourth in the girls’ rankings and The Bishop’s had jumped from unranked to 12th after upsetting Studio City Harvard-Westlake, 63-60, in the quarterfinals.
The Southern California regional of the state playoffs reached the semifinal round after San Diego Section teams qualified eight of the 17 teams it sent to the weekend quarterfinals.
All local boys and girls teams except Helix will be on the road Tuesday night. The Highlanders (29-5), seeded No. 2 in Boys’ Division IV, play host to 3 seed Carson (23-6) of the Los Angeles City Section.
Beginning with Open Division 6 seed St. Augustine (28-4), a scrappy, 88-81 winner over nationally regarded and Southern California third-ranked Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, all section teams except Helix will be in against favored clubs.
The Saints will try for the third time at No. 2 Santa Ana Mater Dei (32-2), having lost to the Monarchs, 86-62, in the Diablo Inferno at Mission Viejo on Dec. 3 and 74-62 at the Nike Extravaganza Feb. 4 at Mater Dei.
If there is a potential Cinderella, the D-IV Orange Glen Patriots are the top candidate at this juncture.
The 14 seed from east Escondido visits No. 2 Villa Park. The Patriots are the South’s ranked squad still alive in boys or girls.
The lowest overall seed in the state still playing is Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman, a No. 15 in the Northern California D-II regional. Eastlake, a 12 seed in D-V, visits No. 1 Riverside Notre Dame.
Helix, should it defeat Carson, would take on the winner of No. 1 Burbank (25-9) and No. 5 Reedley Immanuel (22-8) on Saturday, March 18, at 6 p.m. If Burbank wins, the Bulldogs would host. If Immanuel wins, Helix would host.
GIRLS SEMIFINALS LOADED
The Bishop’s (30-3), seeded fifth in the Open, will make the South regional’s longest trip, 368 miles, to face No. 1-ranked Clovis East (31-2).
Mission Hills (31-2), seeded third in the Open, revisits 2 seed Long Beach Poly, which sent the Grizzlies home with a 58-41 loss in the first round of the 2015 regional.
The four Girls’ opponents are ranked 2, 1, 2, and 1. One of those top-ranked squads is Camarillo, which represents a 175-mile trip for No. 6 Serra.
|Open||6 St. Augustine (28-4)||@2 Santa Ana Mater Dei (32-2)|
|III||14 Orange Glen (23-9)||@2 Villa Park, 25-6|
|IV||2 Helix (29-5)||3 Carson (23-6)|
|Open||3 Mission Hills (30-2)||@ 2 Long Beach Poly (25-3)|
|5 The Bishop’s (30-3)||@1 Clovis West (31-2)|
|III||6 Serra (22-10)||@2 Camarillo (30-3)|
|IV||4 Rancho Bernardo (23-6)||@1 Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos (25-3)|
With Open Division play beginning with quarterfinals tonight, seventeen of 31 San Diego Section teams remain in the Southern California regionals of the state playoffs.
Boys teams won seven of Wednesday’s 13, opening-round games, were 6-1 in road games and 3-3 at home.
Four lower seeds, Vista, Orange Glen, Olympian, and Mission Hills won and three higher seeds, Foothills Christian, Mater Dei, and La Costa Canyon lost.
Girls teams won 6 of 14, opening-round games Wednesday, were 6-1 at home, and 0-7 on the road. Favored Poway was beaten by Huntington Beach, 52-43, in the only upset.
Biggest surprises so far were No 11 seed Vista’s remarkable, double-overtime, 97-94 win at No. 6 Rancho Santa Margarita and, just a few miles South, No. 13 Orange Glen’s 66-65, overtime victory at No. 4 Capistrano Valley.
Going into tonight’s four Open Division contests, San Diego Section clubs are 13-14 overall, 9-4 at home, and 6-8 on the road.
San Diego teams will be visitors in 11 of the 16 quarterfinals games.
BOYS FRIDAY, MARCH 10
|Open||6 St. Augustine (27-4)||@3 Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (27-4)|
|8 Torrey Pines (28-4)||@1 Torrance Bishop Montgomery (27-2)|
BOYS SATURDAY, MARCH 11
|I||11 Vista (29-3)||@3 Woodland Hills Taft (26-10)|
|II||12 Mission Hills (22-8)||13 Pasadena (25-6)|
|III||8 Santa Fe Christian (21-10)||@1 Ontario Colony (28-5)|
|13 Orange Glen (22-9)||@6 Selma (30-4)|
|IV||2 Helix (28-5)||7 Torrance West (23-8)|
|V||4 Brawley (27-7)||13 Olympian (29-3)|
GIRLS FRIDAY, MARCH 10
|Open||3 Mission Hills (29-2)||6 Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda (26-2)|
|5 The Bishop’s (29-3)||@4 Studio City Harvard-Westlake (25-4)|
GIRLS SATURDAY, MARCH 11
|I||8 La Jolla Country Day (18-11)||@1 L.A. Windward (26-4)|
|III||6 Serra (21-10)||@3 L.A. Marlboro (22-8)|
|7 Mater Dei (22-11)||@2 Camarillo (29-4)|
|IV||4 Rancho Bernardo (26-6)||5 Cerritos Valley Christian (22-9)|
|6 Scripps Ranch (27-5)||@3 Sun Valley Village Christian (29-3)|
|V||7 Escondido Adventist (23-3)||@2 Irvine Crean (19-11)|
Thirty-one teams from the San Diego Section begin play Wednesday and Friday nights in the Southern California regional playoffs.
Regional winners will qualify for the state championships against Northern California winners.
The CIF state committee which created the seedings and brackets based on the power ratings model didn’t think highly of the San Diego Section’s 15 boys’ teams chances or those of the 16 girls’ squads.
Helix, seeded second in Boys’ D-IV, is the highest ranked boys club. Brawley, a 4 seed in D-V, is the only other male team with a seeding higher than 6.
Helix (28-5) gets a Wednesday night home game against No. 15 Granada Hills (14-16), better known as the alma mater of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.
Brawley, Foothills Christian, Mater Dei, and Santa Fe Christian are the only others with home games.
St. Augustine and Torrey Pines, San Diego Section Open Division finalists, were placed in the eight-team regional Open, which begins play Friday night.
Helix, on an 18-game winning streak and having played a decidedly easier, mostly local schedule, was given a lower division slot and a presumed stronger prospect of advancing to the to the state final.
St. Augustine and Torrey Pines played stronger intersectional schedules and were “rewarded” with first-round road games against loaded, nationally ranked Southern Section teams Chatsworth Sierra Canyon and Torrance Bishop Montgomery, respectively.
GIRLS FARE BETTER
Nine teams earned seeds that will give them home games, beginning Wednesday night.
Mission Hills (29-2) is No. 3 in the Open Division and plays host on Friday to a dangerous 6 seed, 28-2 Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda.
Rancho Bernardo (4), The Bishop’s (5), Serra (6), Scripps Ranch (6), Mater Dei (7), and Escondido Adventist (7) all will act as hosts.
The biggest underdog of all 31 teams appears to be the Guajome Park Frogs, who have a 19-9 record but are seeded 16th in boys’ D-V and will travel to No. 1 seed Riverside Notre Dame.
FINAL UNION-TRIBUNE TOP 10
1–St. Augustine, 2–Torrey Pines, 3–Foothills Christian, 4–Helix, 5–Vista, 6—Mater Dei, 7—Mission Hills, 8—Santa Fe Christian, 9—La Jolla Country Day, 10—Canyon Crest.
|OPEN||6||St. Augustine||27-4||@Chatsworth Sierra Canyon||3||27-2|
|8||Torrey Pines||28-4||@Torrance Bishop Montgomery||1||27-2|
|1||7||Foothills Christian||24-6||Oak Park||10||22-8|
|11||Vista||28-3||@Rancho Santa Margarita||6||21-8|
|II||8||Mater Dei||23-5||Studio City Harvard-Westlake||9||21-11|
|12||Mission Hills||21-8||@Moreno Valley Rancho Verde||5||26-3|
|III||7||La Jolla Country Day||19-10||L.A. Washington||10||22-6|
|8||Santa Fe Christian||20-10||Vista Murrieta||9||24-5|
|14||Orange Glen||21-6||@Capistrano Valley||3||25-6|
|13||Sage Creek||14-17||@Twentynine Palms||4||27-3|
|V||12||Olympian||28-3||@Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian||5||22-5|
|16||Guajome Park||19-9||@Riverside Notre Dame||1||29-3|
|4||Brawley||21-7||L.A. Watts New Design||13||19-2|
|OPEN||3||Mission Hills||29-2||Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda||6||28-2|
|5||The Bishop’s||28-3||@Studio City Harvard-Westlake||4||25-4|
|I||8||La Jolla Country Day||18-11||L.A. Palisades||9||25-9|
|II||13||La Costa Canyon||25-5||@L.B. Millikan||4||19-8|
|14||Westview||19-10||@Mission Hills Chaminade||3||16-11|
|III||13||San Marcos||19-11||@Lawndale Leuzinger||4||23-10|
|7||Mater Dei||21-11||San Juan Capistrano JSerra||10||16-14|
|IV||16||Lincoln||27-4||@Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos||1||22-3|
|4||Rancho Bernardo||25-6||L.A. Torres||13||20-6|
|V||12||Maranatha||19-8||@Palos Verdes Rolling Hills||5||28-3|
|7||Escondido Adventist||22-3||Riverside Carnegie||10||16-4|
|15||Pacific Ridge||10-14||Irvine Crean||2||18-11|
Dougherty Gymnasium went out in a blaze…of technicals!
The final two games at St. Augustine were in keeping with the history of the 64-year-old building, a bandbox of often ear-splitting noise, tightly-packed crowds, and barnburner finishes.
Foothills Christian coach Brad Leaf will be serving a suspension when the Knights open play in the Southern California regionals of the state playoffs next week.
Despite the 72-69 loss to the Saints in semifinals of the San Diego Section playoffs, Foothills will join St. Augustine, Torrey Pines, and five other local Open Division teams in the extended postseason.
Blame Leaf’s one-time benching on the decibel level created by the overflowing mass of humanity in the old gym or the spirit of Fr. Dougherty.
Fr. Joseph Dougherty was an Augustinian Provincial who led the fund-raising drive that resulted in the Dec. 2, 1952, dedication of the squat, brick edifice that seats maybe 700 persons and occupies a campus niche on Palm Avenue between 32nd and Nutmeg streets.
Leaf received two technicals and an automatic ejection with 1.5 seconds remaining in the game.
As a team, Foothills was hit with three technicals because a Knights player, or Leaf, called time out after Foothills rebounded a missed shot with 1.9 seconds remaining and the score tied at 69.
Foothills, however, was out of time outs, prompting the first whistle.
Leaf got into trouble when he began shouting that he had not called time out, resulting in technical No. 1.
When Leaf stalked the referee across the court, another in the crew raised his right hand to signal the second technical and ejection.
“It was a chaotic situation,” Leaf later said to writer John Maffei of the Union-Tribune. “The gym was packed, everyone was standing. It was tough to hear or see anything….”
SAINTS ON RECEIVING END
The Saints’ Taeshon Cherry was shown the door three nights before after the player complained about a foul in the second quarter of the Saints’ 68-45, quarterfinals win over La Costa Canyon.
CIF commissioner Jerry Schniepp overturned Cherry’s ejection after the crew of officials admitted a mistake and that Cherry had not received two technicals, since the first whistle had resulted in a common foul.
Saints coach Mike Haupt didn’t start Cherry against Foothills but the 6-foot, 8-inch junior got into the game minutes later and scored 17 points.
The Saints’ game hero was Otto Taylor, a 6-1 senior who scored 23 points and hit three free throws in six attempts (two for each technical) with 1.5 remaining to give St. Augustine the victory.
Dougherty Gym will be used for other school purposes next season, when the Saints move into their new 1,500-seat arena on campus…the Open finals Saturday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus will match the No. 1 (St. Augustine) and No. 2 (Torrey Pines) teams in the Union-Tribune weekly poll..the girls Open final will bring together No. 1 Mission Hills and No. 2 The Bishop’s…St. Augustine is eighth in the Cal-Hi Sports state top 20 and Torrey Pines is 16th…Mission Hills is fourth and The Bishop’s is on the bubble in the girls’ top 20….
The regular season ends on Friday night and power ratings to determine divisional playoff appointments will follow on Saturday.
St. Augustine lost another first-place vote to Torrey Pines in the weekly Union-Tribune poll, but is number one in the present power ratings, with Torrey Pines third. Vista, which hasn’t played the marquee schedules of the Saints or Torrey Pines, is second in the power ratings.
The eight teams selected for the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs will have first-round byes, while divisions 1-5 will tee it up next week.
St. Augustine remained 12th in the Cal-Hi Sports weekly top 20 and Torrey Pines nudged up one notch to 19th.
Mission Hills remained fourth in the Cal-Hi girls’ ratings, while the Bishop’s anchored at No. 20 for weeks, now is 18th.
Game of the week will be Thursday night at La Jolla Country Day, where the state bubble team Torreys, 15-10, and winners of 5 in a row, will attempt to reverse a 62-53 loss to The Bishop’s, 27-1 and winner of 16 straight, early in the season.
The other girls bubble team is Eastlake (20-6). Foothills Christian (20-5) and Vista (23-3) remain on the bubble in boys’ play.
Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Feb. 13:
|1||St. Augustine (8)||23-4||98||1|
|2||Torrey Pines (2)||24-3||92||2|
|8||La Jolla Country Day||18-8||29||8|
Others receiving votes: La Costa Canyon (19-6, 5 points), Olympian (21-2, 5), Rancho Bernardo (19-6, 4), Canyon Crest (18-7, 3), Orange Glen (17-7, 2), Granite Hills (20-6, 2).
Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Union-Tribune correspondent), Bill Dickens, Adam Paul, EastCountySports.com; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Bodie DeSilva, sandiegopreps.com; Chris Davis, freelance; Aaron Burgin, fulltimehoops.com.